Ford

THAT FAINT CLANKING SOUND, arriving through the open window of his home office: Was it coming from the courtyard? Was it being made by the pulley they’d attached to the house’s outside wall? Christ, it couldn’t be, thought Nixon, looking at his new digital watch: 6:15 p.m. No, they still had the round-the-clock nurse with them, and she wouldn’t be letting Pat get up from her long afternoon nap for another 15 minutes, when he’d join her for a glass of fruit juice and dinner off the TV trays. He heard the clanking again and realized it was just the halyard hitting the flagpole.

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Spielberg's film ought to put an end to the Lost Cause mythology.

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Why the auto industry rescue may be the single best way to understand the choices of this election.

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During convention season, the polls temporarily provide a less accurate picture of the race as voters sway back and forth on either side of their eventual preference. But this week, the polls are becoming more and more predictive of the eventual outcome with every passing day.

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The Bounce Matters

Obama’s bounce has arrived and so has a debate about its meaning. Some contend that Obama’s bounce will fade over the next few days and that Romney remains very much in the race. Others argue that analysts should hold out for two weeks before making proclamations. Bounces tend to overstate a candidate’s strength, so there are risks in extrapolating too much from Obama’s initial improvement. The critical question is whether it’s possible to learn any lessons from the bounces themselves, even before we learn whether they endure.

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Paul Ryan wants to talk about the auto industry? Let's do it. It may be the single best argument for Obama's reelection.

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Japanese automakers claimed the top five spots in Consumer Reports' annual Automaker Report Card, with Subaru and Mazda ranked first and second, scoring 75 and 74, respectively, on a 100-point scale. Ford dropped from fifth place last year to tenth this year, with a score of 60. General Motors placed twelfth (score: 56), and Chrysler came in dead last (score: 51) among the 13 automakers surveyed. Good thing Consumer Reports isn't rating the GOP field ...

Livonia, Michigan—Rick Santorum is running on fumes. His is the curse of insurgent presidential campaigns—too much passion and too little sleep. You could hear it in his voice Monday morning talking to a Chamber of Commerce breakfast in Livonia as the decibel level grew higher, the diction grew muddier, and the logorrhea grew more obvious. An open-ended question on Social Security prompted a nine-minute Santorum monologue.

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By now, you may have heard about Mitt Romney's Detroit speech and what he said about the family cars. In what I can only assume was an overzealous attempt to prove his loyalty to the American auto industry, he boasted that he had a Ford Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck – and that “Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs actually.” Yes, that’s quite a lot of automobile for one couple. And, yes, it will remind a lot of people about how little Romney has in common with them. Still, that wasn’t the statement from Romney’s appearance that stuck with me.

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President Obama visits the Detroit area on Friday, and his timing couldn't be better: Today's Detroit Free Press brings more good news from the auto industry: General Motors, Ford and Chrysler all plan to add jobs in Michigan, which stands to benefit more than any other state. Nissan, BMW, Honda, Toyota, Kia and Mercedes-Benz also are hiring. Suppliers are looking to add engineers and technical people, but at a more gradual pace. About 15,000 auto-related Michigan jobs could be created this year, said Sean McAlinden, economist at Ann Arbor's Center for Automotive Research.

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